Dog Bites: How To Protect Yourself and What To Do if You’re Bitten

There are an estimated 4.5 million dog bites in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those, nearly 10% require medical attention and several are children. In North Carolina, there are thousands of reported dog bites every year.

There is no doubt that dogs can be a beloved member of the family, but they can also be quite dangerous when they’re not properly trained. That’s why it’s important to know how to protect yourself if a dog bites you. Here are a few tips for protecting yourself from dogs and dog bites in North Carolina.

Dog Bite Prevention Tips

There are many things that people can do to prevent themselves from being bitten by a dog. Some of these tips are basic rules, such as not provoking or harassing a dog, even if it is familiar. Other tips may be less obvious, such as avoiding contact with dogs that are eating, sleeping, or playing with a toy. Additionally, people should be aware of their surroundings and be cautious when approaching an unknown dog. It is also important to keep an eye on children around dogs and never leave them unsupervised. 

If a dog does attack, it is important to remain calm and use whatever protection is available, such as a jacket or bag, to shield yourself from the animal.

How to Protect Yourself from Dog Bites

There are several things you can do to protect yourself from a dog attack. These include:

a.) Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog: Let the animal see and sniff you from a distance first.

b.) Avoid interaction: If you see a dog that is acting aggressively or looks like it might bite, avoid interaction.

c.) Be aware of your surroundings: Make sure you are aware of your surroundings and be especially cautious around strangers’ dogs.

d.) Use caution when approaching dogs: When approaching a dog, always use caution and let the dog approach you instead.

e.) Observe the warning signs: These signs can include growling, baring teeth, hackles raised, and ears back. If you see these signs, it is best to walk away from the dog; don’t run. You should also protect yourself by avoiding direct eye contact with the dog.

How to React if You’re Attacked by a Dog

Dogs are often considered to be man’s best friend, but going by the statistics of dog bites, they can also be dangerous. If you’re attacked by a dog, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself.

a.) Stay Calm: It can be difficult to stay calm when you’re being attacked by a dog, but it’s important to try to do so. Panicking will only make the situation worse.

b.) Avoid eye contact: Dogs may see making eye contact as a sign of aggression, so it’s best to avoid looking at an attacking dog if possible.

c.) Be still and quiet: Again, dogs may interpret movement or noise as aggression. Try to remain still and quiet until the dog loses interest or is pulled away by its owner. If there’s someone around, ask them to help restrain the dog. If you’re on your own, use whatever objects are available to protect yourself—a backpack, jacket, or purse. 

The Risks of Dog Bites

There are a number of risks associated with dog bites. 

One of the most serious is the risk of infection. Dog saliva can contain a number of bacteria, including rabies, which can be deadly if not treated immediately. 

Other risks include puncture wounds, which can easily become infected, and scratches, which can lead to scarring. 

Additionally, dog bites can cause emotional distress, particularly in children.

What To Do if You Have Been Bitten by a Dog

If you have been bitten by a dog, there are a few things you should do. 

First, seek medical attention. Even if the bite does not appear to be serious, it is important to make sure you do not have any infections or other complications. 

Second, contact the police. If the dog that bit you is not known to you and was not restrained by its owner, the police will need to investigate. 

Finally, contact an attorney. If the bite caused injuries that required medical treatment, the owner of the dog may be held liable for your damages. In North Carolina, victims of dog bites can recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

Contact Our North Carolina Personal Injury Law Firm

In conclusion, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with dog bites and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. If, however, you or a loved one has been bitten, seek medical attention right away and contact the team at Flexner Houser Injury Law for a consultation. We can advise on your options and will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Get Flexner Houser. We’re serious.

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